This week we are back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, as we see a highly anticipated battle at light heavyweight division.
It’s an all-Brazilian battle for the main event this week as former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago “Marreta” Santos and knockout artist Johnny Walker go head-to-head.
With a 21-win history, but coming off three consecutive losses, Santos will be looking to get back on top this weekend. Fifteen of Santos’ wins have come by KO and one by submission, and he is a formidable fighter who uses his history of capoeira and Muay Thai to his advantage in his fighting technique. Before turning pro in the UFC, Santos was a Brazilian army paratrooper and the only piece missing of this dream now, is the championship title.
Walker has mastered the art of knockout in the Octagon – a skill he will be looking to highlight this weekend. He also has 15 wins by KO and two by submission, as well as having 15 first round finishes. Having won 10 of his last 12 bouts, he is a lethal fighter who will be looking to continue this momentum. Before turning pro in 2013, Walker was an engineer.
Egging them on
The women’s bantamweight division will display an exhilarating bout this weekend as Stephanie Egger goes up against Shanna “The Shanimal” Young.
Having been pro since 2015, Egger will be looking to build on her five wins this weekend. The Swiss fighter has two wins by KO and two by submission under her belt, by RNC and armbar. Having started judo at just five years old and being the proud owner of her black belt in the sport, this is second nature to her now. Before turning pro, she studied psychology and still works at her family’s restaurant when not training.
Also pro since 2015, this is Young’s first fight back since a loss in February 2020, and she will be looking to bounce back in style. Like Egger, Young holds two wins by KO and two by submission, this is set to be an exciting fight. Her favourite grapple is triangle, one she is known to execute with precision. Young took her first fight in 2007 and wrestled for King College’s first ever all-women’s wrestling team before graduating with a degree in exercise science, holding various jobs in physical therapy clinics and in construction.
There’s a lot of female talent going up this weekend, and the women’s flyweight division will see Casey “King” O’Neill face off against Antonina “La Pantera” Shevchenko.
Hailing from Irvine Scotland, and fighting out of Gold Coast, Australia, O’Neill has been fighting alongside her dad – who introduced her to kickboxing, BJJ and MMA at the age of 13 – all her life. With two wins by KO and two by submission – both RNC – Casey has not lost a fight in her professional career yet, a streak she will be looking to continue. She has always put all her efforts into her fighting career but briefly worked as a barista before turning pro.
Shevchenko is a UFC veteran, having been pro since 2002 and only losing three bouts in that time. This weekend, she will be looking to bounce back from her loss against Andrea Lee in May. She was destined to be in the UFC, with her mum being a black belt in taekwondo, and president of the Kyrgyzstan Muay Thai Federation. She has trained with her coach Pavel Fedotov for more than 20 years and has never had another job in her life.